MIAMI, FL - Former Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson is adamant that history should not be repeated in Haiti in the post January 12th earthquake era.
Delivering the twelfth annual Florida International University Eric Williams Lecture on Haiti`s reconstruction, PM Patterson, the Caribbean Community`s Special Representative on Haiti`s Reconstruction told the audience in Miami that prescriptions for reconstruction should not be imposed on Haiti but that the Haitian people should chart their own destiny.
`Every crisis presents an opportunity,` Patterson said.
His comments come as 1.3 million continue to live in tents ten months after the devastating earthquake and as more than a dozen people died this week following rains from tropical storms.
The event was held at Florida International University`s South Campus, as part of its African & African Diaspora Studies Program Distinguished Africana Scholars Lecture Series under the theme `The Renaissance of Haiti: A Template for Caribbean Integration.`
Numerous US federal and Florida elected officials, including Governor Charlie Crist attended the event.
The Memorial Lecture honors the distinguished Caribbean statesman Eric E. Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and head of government for a quarter of a century until his death in 1981. He led the country to independence from Britain in 1962 and onto Republicanism in 1976. A consummate academic and historian, and author of several books, Dr. Williams is best known for his groundbreaking work, the 66-year-old Capitalism and Slavery, which has been translated into seven languages, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese and soon-to-be, Korean.
The Brazilian and Spanish versions will be reprinted in 2011 for the first time in some 40 years.